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Gold medal economy

Gisborne has the nation’s fastest-growing economy, topping national growth in the retail and housing markets, a new report reveals.

The latest ASB Regional Economic Scoreboard report ranked Gisborne as the best-performing region, growing faster in the past quarter (April to June) than neighbouring Hawke’s Bay, the previous leading performer.

“After climbing 10 places to take out bronze last quarter, Gisborne has rocketed into first place, wresting gold from Hawke’s Bay which had held the medal for two successive quarters,” ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said.

“Construction and housing have boosted the region this quarter, with annual growth in construction hitting 41 percent and house prices up 13.2 percent.

“The Gisborne housing market is on fire, with both house sales and house price growth topping the nationwide ranks over the quarter. The region also took out top spot in retail, with 8.7 percent annual growth in retail sales.”

The report showed $143 million worth of retail sales in Gisborne and gave the region a five-star rating. Wellington and Hawke’s Bay were the only other regions to gain five-star status.

. . . a 41 percent rise in the value of constructionIt also noted a 41 percent rise in the value of construction, which had contributed $26m to the regional economy over the past quarter.

Mr Tuffley said Gisborne had been on a solid run industry-wise, with its diverse mix of export industries.

“The one storm cloud on the horizon is the recent weakening of log prices. That aside, it is definitely Gisborne’s time in the sunshine.”

The Scoreboard takes the latest quarterly regional statistics and ranks the economic performance of New Zealand’s 16 regional council areas. The fastest-growing regions gain the highest ratings,

By the end of June 2018, Gisborne’s population had grown 1.2 percent to 49,000. The region accounted for 0.7 percent of the national economy.

“This continued good performance across our export industries should give property developers more confidence to meet the increased housing demand,” Activate Tairawhiti economic development general manager Steve Breen said.

“We are continuing to develop our local wood processing capacity, which will provide an alternative market to offset low export log prices. The recent announcement by New Zealand Future Forest Products to consider Gisborne as their location for an engineered timber plant demonstrates the interest being generated.”